If you’re suffering from an unexplained bout of difficulty breathing and a high body temperature, the hospital is one place you’ll stop by to be diagnosed.
After sharing details of your condition with a healthcare worker and undergoing various tests and examinations, the diagnostic imaging your doctor receives will help them figure out what’s wrong and what should be done to help you.
When we’re diagnosed, we hope the information given to us is accurate, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
A recent situation at Trillium Health is an example of this. It was discovered that the cases a radiologist worked on at the Mississauga Hospital and Queensway Health Centre were incorrectly diagnosed and delayed treatments for some patients. Two patients died from this issue and in an external review of the 3,537 scans the radiologist worked on, it was discovered that 11 patients experienced a significant clinical event. While 99 per cent of the patients didn’t have any adverse events, three patients with issues were identified during the review.
The radiologist was suspended from the hospital and couldn’t practice medicine while the College of Physicians looked into the case.
But one patient died from cancer after the radiologist discharged her and missed the tumour in her heart, according to CTV News. The cancer later spread to her brain and lungs. Before she died, her and family filed a medical negligence claim against the radiologist and the Health group. The lawsuit alleges that the missed diagnoses prevented her from receiving proper treatment that could have saved her life.
Since then, the Health group has implemented a formal peer review program in its radiology department. The Province has also adopted the tactic by using the skills of a colleague’s physicians to ensure that diagnosis from imaging, including mammograms and CT scans, is accurate. The Province is also looking into an accreditation program.
“Peer review has been found to be an effective method for enhancing safety and accuracy in diagnostic imaging in many jurisdictions around the world,” said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, in a statement.
Everyone knows that hospitals are busting institutions, but any patient who walks through the doors should be able to expect good healthcare. To assist your doctor’s diagnosis, you could write down your symptoms and try to give as much detail about them as possible. Also, if you know that you have any allergies to any medication, inform your doctor as soon as possible.
Your doctor comes up with a diagnosis based on a brief overview of your health which could be influenced by some preconceived notions. If you want to know about other possibilities about your diagnosis, Dr. Jerome Groopman, author of How Doctors Think, told the Globe and Mail, that you might consider politely asking your doctor these questions:
1) Could two issues be occurring at the same time?
2) What other options are there to explain the symptoms?
3) Does any information in the test results challenge the diagnosis?
Your doctor will inform you about what they believe the issue to be and make note of the additional symptoms to be aware of and what you should do if there are no improvements in your health.
If you need a legal opinion on a potential medical malpractice claim, the personal injury and accident lawyers at Neinstein LLP have been handling all types of injuries for over 45 years including injuries from negligent medical workers. We understand the impacts injuries can have on your life and we know how to help you. Call us at 1-844-920-4242. Set up a free consultation and come talk with us.
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